There’s no doubt that we’re going through tough economic times as a country at the moment. One thing to take comfort in is that we’re all going through the same as a collective rather than as individuals.

The family budget will probably be the hardest hit during this time. There are no quick fixes, but it’s important that we take careful steps in managing our expenses. There’s very little that we can do to adjust our fixed costs, but the good news is that it’s possible to find some breathing space by putting a few variable expenses under the microscope.

Save on groceries

Now, we’re not suggesting that you take a militant approach to your family’s meals and start serving up plain crackers for dinner. Draw up a shopping list and do the following:

  • Do comparison shopping in your area

Have each family member visit a different supermarket’s website to see if they are offering specials on products that are on your shopping list.

  • Consider using online grocery shopping Apps

Yes, they charge a small delivery fee, but you will stick to your shopping list and not be tempted to add any extras to your shopping cart.

  • Commit to less indulgent treats

Put off buying luxuries and personal indulgences until things improve.

Reduce your entertainment budget

Having fun as a family is important in building a family identity and creating memories. We can build a family bond without breaking the bank by following the following tips:

  • Time to downscale

DSTV, Netflix, Showmax, Apple TV+  and the rest. Do you need them all? Review the number of entertainment services your family subscribe to and only keep the one or two they use most frequently.

  • Small amounts add up

Look at your memberships and other subscriptions to various platforms and services. Cancel the ones you don’t use or can do without whilst trying to save. A few of these at under R100 each adds up very quickly to a nice sum of money.

  • Break out the dice

Focus on spending meaningful and fun times together by playing board games like Monopoly, 30Seconds, etc. They are great for teaching kids (and adults), important skills such as verbal communications, interacting with others, learning to share and waiting your turn.

Once you have started following these tips, track your savings and stay on course.

  • Contact an Old Mutual Financial Adviser

Most importantly speak to an Old Mutual financial adviser about the best ways to save for the things that really matter to your family. If you don’t have an adviser, you can find one here.

Old Mutual Life Assurance Company (SA) Limited is a licensed FSP and Life Insurer